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Healthy Weight Loss Tips : Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Author : Dr. Jenna Jameson

With the unhealthy diets we eat nowadays, cholesterol numbers are soaring. Cholesterol is made by our livers and is naturally found in our bodies but when our bad cholesterol numbers are high it can cause blockage in our arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Some people with high cholesterol are given what are called statin drugs. Once a statin regime is started it is considered life long, and these drugs can have debilitating side effects on some people. This is why everyone should get tested no matter what age or physical condition. The earlier we know, the easier it is to lower cholesterol by diet and exercise.

There are many foods that lower cholesterol that we can add to our diet. High fiber foods such as raspberries can be eaten plain or added to dessert and cereals. Apples with their skin, blueberries and strawberries; these are all delicious fruits that can be added to numerous recipes.

Soluble fiber helps reduce LDL levels in the blood stream. One cup of rolled oats holds 12.0g of fiber while bran cereal holds an astounding 19.9. Add bananas to your morning oatmeal and you have a delicious cholesterol lowering breakfast.

Omega 3 fatty acid is an essential to our bodies but we do not make it in our bodies naturally. We must get this through food. People who eat fatty fish such as Salmon and Halibut tend to have better HDL levels, or in other words, "good" cholesterol levels. Omega 3 fats work to help reverse damage caused by saturated fats with damages arteries. Triglycerides levels are also lower. For people who do not like fish, supplements are available. If this route is chosen though, the body will not be getting another important trace mineral that it needs called selenium. The good thing is selenium can be found in plant products so if fish is not eaten a slight modification in diet can take place.

Nuts are another wonderful and delicious way to help in lowering cholesterol. Stick to nuts that have the highest level of unsaturated fats. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are among these and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Add slivered or chopped nuts as a dessert topping, in salads, as a delicious addition to meat dishes or by the handful as a healthy snack alternative. Avoid nuts that are salted or frosted.

Changing the way you prepare your foods can also help lower your cholesterol. Instead of using butter, try using olive oil instead. Olive oil contain a powerful group of antioxidants which can actually lower LDL "bad" cholesterol level while leaving the good virtually untouched. Olive oil has high calorie content though so the Food and Drug Administration recommends you don't go over the daily recommendation of 2 tablespoons per day. Look for extra-virgin olive oil. This is from the first cold pressing of the olives and is less processed so it contains even more antioxidants. Keep in mind that "light" olive oils are only lighter in color, not fat or calories.

Remember, getting your cholesterol levels checked early and changes in diet and exercise can circumvent the damaging effects of high cholesterol. Just a bit of prevention can save you from a lifelong regimen of statin drugs, heart attack and stroke.

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Submitted : 2011-05-05    Word Count : 652    Times Viewed: 1649